POLICE operation May Races has been declared an overwhelming success by officers despite racegoers getting up to some minor antics.
Acting Sergeant Adrian Dolman was in charge of the operation and said the most unusual incident happened at the races on Wednesday afternoon when a patron had to be escorted from the course after having a swim.
“The crowd was well behaved for the three days. There was hardly an incident at the track,” he said.
“However, on Wednesday afternoon a punter had a bet with a few mates, saying he would swim in the dam on the racecourse if a particular horse won. Of course the horse won and the man went for a swim.
“He was escorted, very cold, from the racecourse,” he said.
Acting Sergeant Adrian Dolman said there was a large amount of planning went into the races from a police perspective.
“The crowd was well behaved considering the number of people at the course, particularly on Thursday,” he said.
“There were two officers from search and rescue to help us keep an eye on any protesters. We also had the excellent services of two mounted police officers which are highly visible and effective. It was great to have their support.”
The police races chief said eight officers from the Melbourne operational response unit focused their attention on the Warrnambool central business district at night.
“That area is obviously a major concern. We had a highly visible police presence and we were delighted with how the carnival ran and the conduct of people,” he said.
Three $600 infringement notices were issued to drunks on Thursday night.
A 42-year-old man attracted the attention of police officers after he tried to climb in a window at The Whalers Hotel at 10.20pm.
He, another man and a 22-year-old Cobden woman were lodged in police cells for four hours before being released and then issued with the tickets. Acting Sergeant Dolman said the emphasis of the police operation was to get everyone home safe.
“People were really fantastic and the staggered bar closures at the racecourse worked very well,” he said.
“As well as the additional police we had officials down from the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation and officers from the Victoria Police Razon Taskforce which looks after liquor licensing,” he said.